The Apeman's Secret
The Hardy Boys investigate the disappearance of an eighteen-year-old girl suspected of joining a sinister religious cult.
Reviewed on 2nd May 2021
This is possibly the first Hardy Boys story that I read as a child, though I don’t have any specific memory of that first encounter, just if this volume being an early one I came into possession of.
It’s also the first story of the 1980s, and as with the start of the 70s feels like a significant shift - with television and comic books playing a part in the story for the first time.
It’s a classic plot, with a decent mystery to investigate. But the narrative suffers from many of the dated aspects that repeat through the series and really stand out forty years later. There’s a range of body-shaming, sexism, classism, and ableism, together with the ‘if you’ve nothing to hide’ fallacy.